A friend of ours is marrying a Muslim in a civil ceremony. She is practicing Catholic but the upbringing of children is still in negotiations and unsettled. What does the Church teach regarding attendance of this wedding?
In the Catholic view, assuming your friend has dispensations from her bishop to marry an unbaptized man in a non-Catholic ritual, the Church will presume the marriage to be valid but not sacramental. Your friend will have to promise to do her best to raise her children Catholic and her fiance must be informed of her obligation.
In Islam, Muslim men are allowed to marry a non-Muslim woman if she is among “the people of the Book” (i.e., Christian, Jewish). Because children are presumed to belong to him, Islam requires the children of a Muslim father to be raised Muslim. Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men because it would be presumed that the children would be raised in their father’s non-Muslim religion.
If you are close friends with the prospective bride, you might consider explaining to her that marrying a Muslim will mean that it will be extremely difficult for her to raise her children Catholic, particularly if he is a practicing Muslim. If both bride and groom are committed to their religions, their differences in religion may well cause a good deal of marital strife for themselves and familial strife for their children.
For a Muslim perspective on mixed-marriages to share with your friend, click here.
Should I Attend?** by Catholics United for the Faith